The recent WHO recommendation called on patients to delay routine dental care due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO) issued a statement disagreeing with the recent recommendation by the World Health Organization (WHO) calling on patients to delay routine dental care due to COVID-19. The ADSO echoed the American Dental Association’s statement respectfully, but strongly, disagreeing with the WHO’s recommendation. 

The ADSO President, Emmet Scott, stated, “The World Health Organization’s very own remarks cited the ‘unknown’ nature of their dangerous claim. Dental clinics must remain open for both routine and emergent care throughout this pandemic. Recent studies suggest that oral health is not only critical at early detection and prevention of diseases, but also greatly increases a patient’s chances of surviving COVID-19.”

“I understand that the WHO speaks to a global audience; in the US, we have zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 transmissions between a patient and clinical staff during a dental procedure. Dentists are trained at infection control. This is not new in this country,” stated Dr Jack Dillenberg, Dean Emeritus of A.T. Stills University, Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health.

Dillenberg continued, “The link between oral health and systemic health is clear, to imply that oral care is routine and unnecessary ignores decades of scientific research and is a disservice to patients.”

“Dental professionals across the country have increased the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during this pandemic to keep patients safe,” stated Scott. “After an unjustifiable period when dental clinics were closed for months, it is important that practices remain open to provide essential oral health care.”

The ADSO says it will continue working with its members and the dental industry to ensure that dental clinics can remain open to provide the essential care needed to ensure overall health and well-being.